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(Pocket-lint) - OverDrive has released an app for iOS and Android that offers access to DRM-protected EPUB ebooks from your local library, for free. 

OverDrive is a digital content delivery platform sitting behind many public libraries and schools, and is the service that runs free ebook lending from many UK council libraries, as well as those in the US, Canada and Australia.

In the past we have put this into action with the likes of Sony’s ebook Readers, meaning you can head onto your local library website, sign in with your membership details and borrow their ebooks. These could then be sideloaded onto a compatible ebook reading device, such as the Sony Reader Touch

The new app (available in the App Store and Android Market now, for free) provides the bridge to the source of your ebooks, letting you search for your library. You then sign in using the mobile browser.

When it comes to downloading the ebook, the OverDrive Media Console provides the means to authenticate the digital content using your existing Adobe ID which then unlocks the file for you to read. Of course, if you’ve already downloaded the book onto your Reader or PC, you won’t be able to download it on an additional device, unlike the service that the Kindle app offers.

The OverDrive Media Console will also handle audiobooks that are available to download from many libraries.

The OverDrive app means you’ll be able to use your iPad or HTC Desire HD (as well as many other devices) to download free ebooks on the move and not just the out-of-copyright collections either.

“Libraries have been an excellent source for eBooks and digital audiobooks for PC, Mac, and eBook readers, and now these apps enable users to download digital books directly to their iPhone, iPod touch, or Android device”, said David Burleigh, director of marketing for OverDrive. “In 2011, users will continue to see new features added to the existing apps, and access will expand to other devices, including an optimized app for iPad”.

To see if your library offers digital lending services, head over to http://search.overdrive.com

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 16 April 2013.